Sports

Time to Call Manny Pacquiao Out on Ducking Sergio Martinez

| by Alex Groberman

There is something to be said for holding everyone to equal standards. If fans accept the general premise that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is ducking Manny Pacquiao based on his elusiveness on the topic and inability to admit that all of the necessary prerequisites he set have been met, then shouldn’t the same apply to Manny?

Last week, as reported on Opposing Views, Sergio Martinez came out publicly and said that he was finally ready to make the necessary concessions which, in turn, would theoretically make a fight with Pacquiao possible.

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"I am willing to go down to the 150-pounds to face Manny Pacquiao. It does not depend only on me. We will see what happens, if his team and [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum accept  [the fight]. Because it's one thing is to fight Antonio Margarito at 150, and another thing to face me at 150," Martinez told BoxingScene.

"It would be below the junior middleweight limit of 154 lbs [69.850 kg.]. 150-pounds is 68 kilos. It's an incredible effort for my body. I walk around at 78 or 79 kilos, with a maximum of 3.2% body fat. I have very little body fat and I'm very muscular. To go down to that weight can be fatal for my health. But it can be done. With enough time, I think it's possible to do. What's better than saying, 'we'll fight you anywhere you want, the date you want and the weight you want.'

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"He always said 150, and I respect his position, because he is a little fighter even at 150. But it's going to play to his advantage because I'll be almost ten kilos lighter in my body. "

This was last week. To date, neither Pacquiao nor Top Rank have even commented on the possibility of a Pacquiao vs. Martinez fight, despite the fact that it makes perfect sense. With Mayweather, the No. 2 pound-for-pounder likely out of the picture for foreseeable future, how is squaring off against the No. 3 ranked pound-for-pounder not the most logical fix?

And, mind you, Martinez’s weight sacrifice comes after he once requested to fight Pacquiao at a catchweight of 154 pounds. The Filipino champion -- and his whole stable, for that matter -- balked at that request and called in unrealistic, but they don’t have that excuse this time around. Fighting at 150 pounds puts Martinez at a disadvantage, not Pacquiao.

The worst part is that Pacquiao seems content in pretending that he doesn’t hear Martinez. Like he’s completely tuned out from the boxing world, even though he always seems to find time to comment on Mayweather’s little quirks and comments to the press.

Step up, Manny. Either you want to be challenged or you don’t. Martinez is extending you an olive branch, accept it or be prepared to adequately explain why you won’t.